Parental behavior and adolescent's achievement goals in sport

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Abstract

Objectives:

The purpose of this study was to examine the role of parents in adolescent athletes' achievement goals. Our first aim was to examine if parental behaviors (autonomy support, responsiveness, behavioral control, and psychological control) are related to adolescents' achievement goals in sport. Our second aim was to find out if these relations are mediated by parent-initiated motivational climate.

Design:

Cross-sectional correlational design.

Method:

Soccer and field-hockey players (N = 140; 49% girls; Mage = 15.50; SD = 2.05) completed questionnaires assessing parental behavior, parent-initiated motivational climate, coach-initiated motivational climate, implicit theories of ability, and achievement goals.

Results:

Whereas parent-initiated motivational climate was a predictor of achievement goals, coach-initiated motivational climate was not. Mediation analyses showed that autonomy support and responsiveness were positively related to mastery-approach and mastery-avoidance goals through parent-initiated mastery climate. Behavioral control was not related to achievement goals through parent-initiated performance climate, but it was related to mastery-approach, mastery-avoidance and performance-avoidance goals through parent-initiated mastery climate. Psychological control was related to performance-approach and performance-avoidance goals through parent-initiated performance climate, but also to mastery-approach and mastery-avoidance goals.

Conclusions:

Parental behavior is related to achievement goals through parent-initiated motivational climate. Thus, parents (rather than coaches) seem to have an important role in shaping adolescents' achievement goals.

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